Saturday, 9 April 2016

Linkey Down and Farmoor 9 April

There were 3 male Ring Ouzels still on Linkey Down today, but despite a good deal of waiting they didn't oblige. They weren't showing very well and disappeared for long periods of time. Also of course plenty of Red Kites, before the rain arrived.

Ring Ouzel

A more obliging Red Kite

After this extended and partially successful visit, I got a helpful text from Badger saying there was a Slavonian Grebe at Farmoor, so with visions of a splendid, summer plumage bird close into the bank, I set off on the lengthy cross county drive, via Abingdon. 

By the time I arrived, the lovely weather of the early morning had well and truly disappeared to be replaced by leaden skies and a cool wind. Arriving at Farmoor, I was told the Slav was about as far from the car park as it could be - off the west bank of F1! Undeterred I set out and passed the customary pair of Great Northern Divers off the causeway before arriving at a small group of birders observing the Slavonian Grebe. Unfortunately, not only was it very distant and asleep, but also it was showing only a hint of summer plumage. In fact when it first briefly raised its head, my grotty photo suggested to me it was only a Little Grebe. The next time, it was just about identifiable  but when the bird doesn't even fill the central focusing square (the small one you get with spot focus), you know you're not going to get anything worthwhile! As nobody else has posted a pic of it yet, I will risk derision by showing the shot! Still, this did mean I have now seen all 5 British Grebes this year, all in summer plumage, or traces thereof.

Mega distant Slavonian Grebe

I then heard from Badger that the Channel Wagtail and 2 Yellows were showing back over at the waterworks, so I gave the Grebe up as a bad job and with it getting very dark, headed back over the causeway to find... all the wagtails had gone! Such is life sometimes! It then started to pour down and the temperature plummeted so I beat a hasty retreat.


  1. Hi Steve having the same trouble hear got on the beach just before sunrise spent two or three hours photographing Skimmers,turn and various waders before it got so hot and the light so harsh I had to retire to the beach hut for a cold beer ........ :0)

  2. Sounds great! Look forward to hearing all about it and seeing some great shots when you get back, you lucky ***. Enjoy the rest of your stay out there.